The two female guards lifted their weapons even higher, the wide, round muzzles pointed at the three boys.
“Don’t make us use these,” one of the women said. “You have zero room for error. One false move and we pull the trigger.”
The three men swung the straps of their Launchers over their shoulders, then moved toward the defiant Gladers, one per boy. Thomas still felt an odd calmness—coming in part from the deep determination to fight until he couldn’t anymore—and a sense of satisfaction that WICKED needed five armed guards to watch three teenagers.
The guy who grabbed Thomas’s arm was twice as thick as he was, powerfully built. He walked briskly through the door and into the hallway, pulling Thomas along after him. Thomas looked back to see another guard half drag Minho across the floor to follow, and Newt was right behind them, struggling to no avail.
The boys were hauled down corridor after corridor, the only sounds coming from Minho—grunts and shouts and curses. Thomas tried to tell him to stop—that he was only making it worse, that he was probably going to get shot—but Minho ignored him, fighting tooth and nail until the group finally stopped in front of a door.
One of the armed guards used a key card to unlock the door. She pushed it open to reveal a small bedroom with two sets of bunk beds and a kitchenette with a table and chairs in the far corner. It certainly wasn’t what Thomas had been expecting—he’d pictured the Slammer back in the Glade, with its dirt floor and one half-broken chair.
“In you go,” she said. “We’ll have some food brought to you. Be glad we don’t starve you for a few days after the way you’ve been acting. Tests tomorrow, so you better get some sleep tonight.” The three men pushed the Gladers into the room and swung the door closed; the click of the lock engaging echoed through the air.
Immediately all the feelings of captivity Thomas had endured in the white-walled prison came flooding back. He crossed the floor to the door and twisted the knob, pulled and pushed with all his weight. He pounded on it with both fists, screaming as loudly as he could for someone to let them out.
“Slim it,” Newt said from behind him. “No one’s coming to bloody tuck you in.” Thomas whirled around, but when he saw his friend standing in front of him, he stopped. Minho spoke before he could put words together.
“I guess we missed our chance.” He plopped down on one of the bottom bunks. “We’ll be old men or dead before your magical moment comes rolling along, Thomas. It’s not like they’re going to make a big announcement: ‘Now would be an excellent time to escape, because we’ll be busy for the next ten minutes.’
We’ve gotta take some chances.”
Thomas hated to admit that his friends were right, but they were. They all should’ve made a run for it before those guards showed up. “Sorry. It just didn’t feel right yet. And once they had all those weapons in our faces, it seemed kind of pointless to waste the effort trying anything.”
“Yeah, well ” was all Minho said. Then, “You and Brenda had a nice little reunion.” Thomas took a deep breath. “She said something.”
Minho sat up straighter on the bed. “What do you mean she said something?”
“She told me not to trust them—to only trust her and someone named Chancel or Paige.”
“Well, what’s her buggin’ deal anyway?” Newt asked. “She works for WICKED? What, was she just a bloody actress down in the Scorch?”
“Yeah, sounds like she’s no better than the rest of them,” Minho added.
Thomas just didn’t agree. He couldn’t even explain it to himself, much less to his friends. “Look, I used to work for them, too, but you trust me, right? It doesn’t mean anything. Maybe she had no choice, maybe she’s changed. I don’t know.”
Minho squinted as if he was thinking but didn’t respond. Newt just sat down on the floor and folded his arms, pouting like a little kid.
Thomas shook his head. He was sick of puzzling everything out. He walked over and opened the small fridge—his stomach was rumbling with hunger. He found some cheese sticks and grapes and divvied them up, then practically shoved his portion down his throat before drinking a full bottle of juice. The other two gobbled theirs as well, no one saying a word.
A woman showed up soon after with plates of pork chops and potatoes, and they ate that, too. It was early evening, according to Thomas’s watch, but he couldn’t imagine being able to fall asleep. He sat down in a chair, facing his friends, wondering what they should do. He was still feeling a little chagrined, like it was his fault that they’d yet to try anything, but he didn’t offer any ideas.
Minho was the first one to speak since the food had come. “Maybe we should just give in to those shuck-faces. Do what they want. One day we’ll all sit around, fat and happy.” Thomas knew he didn’t mean a word of it. “Yeah, maybe you can find a nice pretty girl who works here, settle down, get married and have kids. Just in time for the world to end in a sea of lunatics.” Minho kept at it. “WICKED’s going to figure out this blueprint business and we’ll all live happily ever after.”
“That’s not even funny,” Newt said grumpily. “Even if they did find a cure, you saw it out there in the Scorch. It’s gonna be a buggin’ long time before the world can ever get back to normal. Even if it can—we’ll never see it.”
Thomas realized he was just sitting there, staring at a spot on the floor. “After everything they’ve done to us, I just don’t believe any of it.” He couldn’t get past the news about Newt—his friend, who’d do anything for someone else. They’d given him a death sentence—an incurable disease—just to watch what would happen.
“That Janson guy thinks he has it all figured out,” Thomas continued. “He thinks it all comes down to some sort of greater good. Let the human race kick the bucket, or do awful things and save it. Even the few who are immune probably wouldn’t last long in a world where ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people turn into psycho monsters.”
“What’s your point?” Minho muttered.
“My point is that before they swiped my memory, I think I used to buy all that junk. But not anymore.” And the one thing that terrified him now was that any returning memories might make him change his mind about that.
“Then let’s not waste our next chance, Tommy,” Newt said.
“Tomorrow,” Minho added. “Somehow, some way.”
Thomas gave each of them a long look. “Okay. Somehow, some way.” Newt yawned, making the other two do the same. “Then we better quit yapping and get some buggin’
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8||Chapter 9||Chapter 10||Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14||Chapter 15||Chapter 16||Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20||Chapter 21||Chapter 22||Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
|Chapter 25||Chapter 26||Chapter 27||Chapter 28||Chapter 29||Chapter 30|
|Chapter 31||Chapter 32||Chapter 33||Chapter 34||Chapter 35||Chapter 36|
|Chapter 37||Chapter 38||Chapter 39||Chapter 40||Chapter 41||Chapter 42|
|Chapter 43||Chapter 44||Chapter 45||Chapter 46||Chapter 47||Chapter 48|
|Chapter 49||Chapter 50||Chapter 51||Chapter 52||Chapter 53||Chapter 54|
|Chapter 55||Chapter 56||Chapter 57||Chapter 58||Chapter 59||Chapter 60|
|Chapter 61||Chapter 62||Chapter 63||Chapter 64||Chapter 65||Chapter 66|
|Chapter 67||Chapter 68||Chapter 69||Chapter 70||Chapter 71||Chapter 72|
|Chapter 73||Book 1: Maze Runner||Book 2: Scorch Trials||Book 3: Death Cure||Prequel: Kill Order|